Sunday, December 12, 2010

31st Carnival of Nuclear Energy

The 31st Carnival of Nuclear Energy blogs is up at ANS Nuclear Cafe. Dan Yurman assembled a fabulous collection of blogs. This post might be subtitled: Everything you wanted to know about nuclear today, but were afraid to ask.

The Carnival includes a series of posts about the Nuclear Summit which recently took place in Washington D. C. The bottom line is complex, but basically, wind and solar cannot provide reliable power. However, if people assume that natural gas prices will remain cheap indefinitely, the market will choose to build natural gas plants. (The market doesn't care too much about greenhouse gases, when all is said and done.) Is this appropriate?

Taking a broader view of costs, the Carnival links to posts describing the levelized cost per kilowatt for nuclear, solar, wind and fossil energy world-wide. Nuclear energy is far less expensive than solar and wind, but the comparison to fossil depends heavily on carbon costs. Will carbon sequestration be required? Will carbon taxes be imposed?

Other posts describe Warren Buffet's nuclear fuel bank philanthropy, and issues about export of nuclear materials. Gail Marcus points out that the "footprint" of wind farms is frequently underestimated. I explain "geothermal heating" in Vermont: geothermal is advanced electrical heating. Governor-elect Shumlin is fond of this type of heating. Vermont Yankee could provide the power for it.

Always something to think about. Always something thought-provoking. No cotton candy.

Come to the Carnival!

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